A first vacation in Quebec has become a nightmare for a French couple with no luggage or medication since they arrived in Montreal last week.
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“According to the latest news, they would have sent our luggage back to France before letting us pick it up in Montreal! […] Introduce yourself? We’re starting our holiday, it’s terrible,” says Augustin Le Van, 40, from Toulouse, after taking the time to wipe the tears of his wife, who has degenerative heart disease.
“I’m supposed to take my medication every day,” continues Céline Laurion, visibly weakened. but […], I can’t take them with me as they were in our suitcases. Result: I don’t feel well. I am very very tired. I do not know what to do.”
The latter are among the hundreds—perhaps thousands—of travelers who arrive in Montreal day after day for several weeks without being able to locate their luggage.
Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), manager of Montréal-Trudeau airport, claims not to know the number of lost bags in recent weeks.
“ADM does not keep this type of data because baggage delivery is the responsibility of the airlines,” his spokesman replies, but without denying the problems.
Each story is unique, although the scenarios are similar. After waiting hours in front of the arrival carousels in Montréal-Trudeau, these travelers are stating the obvious: their suitcases haven’t followed them.
Where are they? In which country or on which plane? When will they arrive? Who knows!
“You’re kidding us”
Amidst the chaos, these unfortunates are finally ushered out of the secure area, where a row of three wall-mounted phones with no chairs or counters awaits them a few yards away in the middle of a busy hallway Quiet area receiving international arrivals. So the only help hung over the handset was a list of numbers customers should dial to reach their airline.
Among the horde of travelers who constantly gathered around these phones, on June 23, a young man was returning from Dublin on Air Canada.
Ten days later, after exhausting all other options available to him (calls, emails, paper forms), he was back at the airport hoping to find his…bike!
“There are three phones but only one Air Canada representative on the line to answer everyone’s problems. It’s ridiculous how they don’t care about us,” says the 30-year-old, who is waiting for a handset to become available.
UPS as backup
Coming back to our Toulouse couple, they visited the airport three times in the first four days of their stay in Quebec. Each time they hoped to find their luggage and their precious medicines.
They departed France on the wings of Lufthansa last Friday, stopping in Munich before disembarking in Montreal for the first time.
“I was stupid not to keep her with me. I feel guilty. But what to do now, if only hope?
Yesterday, on the eighth day of their two-week trip, the couple still didn’t have their bags in hand. Will he find her? Nobody knows.
Meanwhile, the woman called UPS to try and get her medication urgently. If all goes well, she will get them today and finally be able to fulfill a dream: to see Niagara Falls.